On 15th January, 2019, during the weekly meeting held by the BPP (Bombay Parsi Punchayet) Trustees, four of the Trustees voted to file a ‘No Confidence Motion’ challenging the leadership of BPP Chairman Yazdi Desai. Trustee Noshir Dadrawala moved the vote, which was seconded by Trustee Viraf Mehta and supported by Trustees Armaity Tirandaz and Xerxes Dastur. While Trustee Kersi Randeria abstained from voting, Trustee Zarir Bhathena was not present when the vote was being conducted.
As there is no provision for a ‘No Confidence Motion’ in Trust Law or in the Trust Deed, the four Trustees have voted to file an application against Chairman Desai under Section 41(D) of the Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, 1950, which deals with the removal of a trustee if there is evidence of conditions including ‘Misappropriation of Trust Property’; ‘Moral Turpitude’; or ‘Disobeying of Lawful Orders issued by the Charity Commissioner’. However, according to Desai, these would not hold valid for his ouster. As per Dadrawala, the Trustees will seek legal advice for the course ahead.
Yazdi Desai has been allegedly accused of taking decisions independently and not involving the Board on a number of issues, mainly including registering a Leave and Licence Agreement with his sole signature to Ness Wadia’s secretary without informing the other trustees; offering a non-Parsi trespasser an ownership flat worth Rs 1.5 crore; and holding a BPP staff function privately. Debunking these allegations, Desai said the decision to allot a flat to Wadia’s secretary was agreed upon by all the Trustees except for Viraf Mehta, who had abstained; that the non-Parsi trespasser had already been offered a flat by the previous Board of Trustees in Thane, which is now undergoing redevelopment; and that the BPP function was a personal function for which he had borne all expenses.